Am I entitled to receive survivor benefits from my first husband?

Published: July 27, 2020

Full question: Hi!!! My first husband passed away in 2006 and my children received survivor benefits until they were 18. I remarried, but am now divorced from my second husband. He is not deceased. Can I receive my first husband’s social security. It is higher than mine. I just turned 61. My benefits would be around $1,000 at 62. Not enough to live on. I am not working to speak of.


Yes, you should be eligible to receive survivor benefits based on your first husband’s earnings record.

The monthly amount of survivor benefit you will receive is based on your first husband’s earnings and the age at which you collect the benefit.

There is also the possibility for you to collect the survivor benefit and later switch to your retirement benefit if it becomes the higher amount in a future year.

Since you are between age 60 and your full retirement age (FRA), you will receive 71.5 to 99 percent of your husband’s full benefit amount (the amount that he would have collected at his FRA).

If you wait to collect survivor benefits until your FRA or older, you will receive 100% of your husband’s full benefit amount.

You cannot apply online for survivor benefits. You should contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment. (July 2020 – Appointments may not be available in person due to the current COVID 19 pandemic, but can be set up on the phone.)

Take care,

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